Thursday, January 3, 2013

Shrimp & Sausage Sauce Piquant

I am loving the cooler weather. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE me some warm weather, but when I lived in Sarasota Florida, I truly realized then, how much I love and appreciate the seasons. I never wanted to see leaves changing so bad in my life. It's something I will never take for granted. I love each season, with their changes in landscape, weather and moods.
This cooler weather has my family wanting some comfort foods. A good friend of mine shared this recipe with me. Her family is from New Orleans and is quite cultured in true traditional cajun and creole dishes. That is what my family loves. Over the years I have collected many of her recipes and these are some of the ones that my family request to warm their stomachs on cold blustery days.
Last night I fixed Sausage & Shrimp Sauce Piquant. It's real comfort food and a family favorite.

Shrimp & Sausage Sauce Piquant

1 lb sausage (I cut into coin sized pieces)
1-3 lb shrimp (depending on # of people)
1 lrg can tomato paste
1 small can tomatoes
1 small capful of liquid crab boil
1 Tbsp powder crab boil
1 small onion (Chopped)
1/2 tsp celery seed
½ bell pepper (Chopped)
4 cloves garlic, chopped  (or to your taste)
2 C water
1 cooking spoon flour
1 cooking spoon cooking oil
1 Tbsp
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp beef boullion
sticky rice (prepared)


1. Brown sausage in a non-stick skillet.
2. Drain any fat and set aside.
3. Make a roux by browning oil and flour, stirring constantly until the roux is about the color of peanut butter.
4. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic and butter
5. Saute.
6. Add cooked sausage, tomatoes, water and seasonings.
7. Cover and simmer at least one hour.
8. Serve over rice.

Now, go.....make some friends.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rustic and Wonderful Pasta Primavera

My husband is going out tonight with his coworkers for hot wings and beer. I love those nights because it means I can cook something that I wouldn't ordinarily have a "pass" to cook...meaning something that doesn't contain meat, for supper. Big Daddy is a carnivore through and through, unlike myself. So, tonight on the menu, one of my favorites...Pasta Primavera.

I love this dish because it's rustic and flavorful. Its also so colorful, a kaleidoscope of colors. It's honestly one big circus in a bowl! And it's sooooo easy its ridiculous! I make even simpler by cutting corners sometimes and using bagged vegetables. But if you have it in your garden fresh...even better!


  • 1 bag of baby carrots
  • 1 bag of  fresh broccoli
  • 1 bag of fresh cauliflower
  • 2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced into strips (I then cut those strips in half)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 4 heaping Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil + 1/4 cup reserved for later
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs or herbes de Provence
  • 1 pound ziti noodles
  • 1small container cherry tomatoes, halved (I didn't have any today so those aren't in the picture I took)
  • 1 small tub (or 1/2 cup or more, depending...I like allot) shaved Parmesan
  • *balsamic vinegar


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another heavy large baking sheet and arrange evenly over the baking sheets. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes, about 30-40 minutes total.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain.
Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixtures in a large bowl to combine.  Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in remaining olive oil.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.

*I LOVE to give my pasta a splash of balsamic vinegar atop prior to eating. YUM!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Blackberry Cobbler

It's summertime! There is nothing better than cobbler!
We picked our berries yesterday at the Black & Blueberry Festival. Now we are reaping the benefits.
Hope your Father's Day weekend is also bountiful and delicious!

Ingredients :
1 stick Butter
1-¼ cup Sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 cup Self-Rising Flour
1 cup Milk
2 cups Blackberries (or your fav fruit)  
1/4 C chopped nuts (optional)
Preparation Instructions
Melt butter in a microwavable dish. Pour 1 cup of sugar and flour into a mixing bowl, whisking in milk. Mix well. Then, pour in melted butter and vanilla and whisk it all well together. Butter a baking dish. Now rinse and pat dry the blackberries. Pour the batter into the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle blackberries over the top of the batter; distributing evenly.  Sprinkle on nuts. Sprinkle ¼ cup sugar over the top. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until golden and bubbly. If you desire, sprinkle an additional teaspoon of sugar over the cobbler 10 minutes before it’s done.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Banana Bread

Overripe Banana's = Tonight's Banana Bread. My family  just loves this treat. I think they intentionally avoids the banana's  so I'll make this bread.

And its sooo easy...

Banana Bread Recipe
3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Directions: No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.
Yield: Makes one loaf.

Tonight's Dessert, tomorrows breakfast!

Fresh Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

This cake is so easy to make. And so easy to devour! My family can clean off this small cake in one serving after supper, I recommened doubling the recipe.

Fresh Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

Apple Cake:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups finely chopped apples
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)

Brown Sugar Glaze:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon heavy cream

For the cake: Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch pan (round or square) and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.Stir with a whisk to mix everything together.

In a large bowl, mix the eggs with a hand mixer til light in color and foamy. Add the oil and vanilla and beat well.

Stir in the flour mixture with a spoon and continue stirring the batter til the flour disappears. Add the apples and nuts (if using) and stir to mix them into the batter.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Place the hot cake on a wire cake. While it's still hot, prepare the glaze.

For the glaze: Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Cook for 3-5 minutes.

Spoon the hot glaze over the still hot-from-the-oven cake. Let the glazed cake cool completely before serving straight from the pan.


Spicy Meatballs

This is strictly comfort food. Big Daddy loves him some "meat and potatoes", so this weekend I gave him just that. I served these spicy meatballs with creamy potatoes, green beans, marinated cucumber salad and apple cake. He was a happy, happy man. It's the little things in life, huh?

Spicy Meatballs
• 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
• 3/4 cup quick oats
• 1 cup milk
• 3 tablespoons very finely minced onion
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• Plenty of ground black pepper
• 4 tablespoons canola oil
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

• 1 cup ketchup
• 4 to 6 tablespoons minced onion
• 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
• 1 tsp sugar
• 4-5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• Dash of hot sauce, such as Tabasco
2 tsp horseradish
1 Tbsp Meat Marinade, I used Moore's.

For the meatballs: In bowl, combine the ground beef and oats. Pour in the milk, and then add the onions, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Roll the mixture into tablespoon-size balls and refrigerate them for 30 to 45 minutes to firm.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Dredge the meatballs in the flour, and then brown the meatballs in batches until light brown. As they brown, place them into a rectangular baking dish.
For the sauce: Stir together the ketchup, onions, vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Drizzle the sauce evenly on the meatballs.
Bake until bubbly and hot, about 45 minutes.


Creamy Potatoes

Creamy Potatoes

5 lbs potatoes, peeled, cubed and cooked in boiling, salted water for 10 minutes. Drain
4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temp.
1 stick butter, melted
1 8 oz sour cream (I use light or no fat).
Shredded cheese

Put potatoes in a casserole dish. Cream together melted butter, sour cream and cream cheese. Pour over potatoes, stirring and coating. Top with shredded cheeses. I used cheddar and parmesaun. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until bubbly.